Jacquelyn Gill responds to a stupid comment by Gov. Scott Walker. He has a ‘solution’ to the state budget crisis.
Last week, you told professors at the University of Wisconsin that they needed to “work harder.” You were making a case that the Wisconsin state budget crisis could be ameliorated by increasing employee efficiency, and you suggested having faculty teach at least one more class. I’m not going to talk about whether or not the budget crisis is manufactured (some have argued it could be solved by accepting federal funds for the state’s Badger Care health program), or whether your real goal is really partisan politics, and not fiscal responsibility.
I have a better idea, Governor. It looks like governors only manage one state. If we could double up and get them to cover two states, we’d halve the cost of the executive branch. Easy! Don’t worry, though, I wouldn’t ask you to double your workload — I don’t think you’re doing so well with what’s already on your plate — so instead, we’ll just have Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota take over Wisconsin, too. We’re reasonably happy with him, he doesn’t seem to be owned by the Koch brothers, for one thing, and we sure don’t have the labor unrest you do.
It’s such a little thing, a state, and such a small favor to ask, that governors just do one more thing. One more tiny little addition to their workload. Such a tiny addition, that we wouldn’t even bother to increase their compensation — they’ll be happy to do extra work for free, because they care so much about the citizens of their state…errm, states. Well, Scott Walker doesn’t, but normal governors do.
(Gill takes a different tack and explains that university faculty already have a pretty heavy workload and casually implying that they’re lazy is offensive and wrong. That’s entirely true. I’m in my ‘light’ semester right now, only 2 courses instead of 3, and what that means is that I use that tiny bit of extra time to work on revamping a course. I’m trying some different things in genetics this year, to do a better job of improving the competence of the bottom half of the course, and that means I’m reworking all my lectures. Add another course to my load, and that means I’ll have less time to make classes better.)